Apparently I caused a minor fiasco here in the local Panera this morning. Being on the road, I haven’t exactly eaten healthy food at every meal, so when I come in for breakfast, I want some juice, I want some water and I want an apple. An apple, is that so much to ask for?
James, the manager on duty, took my order and got my apple rung up (side note: $1 for an apple? I guess it’s worth it, Panera apples are really good). He hands me my OJ and cinnamon roll and says they’ll have the apple down at the pick-up counter. I take my tray and move to the counter and wait. And wait. And wait.
There are three people working behind the counter: two filling orders for box lunches, assembling sandwiches and such, and the second is filling orders for breakfast sandwiches that the people behind me (mind you the people behind me were Panera employees reporting for work) ordered. Then he filled the egg cooker with a dozen eggs, finished up the sandwiches and delivered them to the people who had ordered them. Who were in line after me.
Finally, after about five minutes, I got a response for the first time. The guy behind the counter said, “I can’t get your apple right now. We don’t have any up here and it’s all the way in the back. It will be a couple minutes.” Really, not a problem. I told him I’d be sitting at the end of the counter, just holler when it’s ready.
Five minutes passes by, I sit down, check e-mail. Then James and the employee get into it about my apple. The employee is upset because James didn’t ask if they had apples out before he told me where to get my apple. Then he says he doesn’t know where I went, I just walked away.
Twenty minutes later, I’ve since picked up my apple, returned to my seat, finished breakfast. Another employee walks up to the counter and employee #1 (only #1 because he came first in the story!) starts complaining about James again. Wow. It’s only 7:45!!
This story won’t keep me from coming back — good food, right next to the convention center.